With only 19 games left in the 2014-15 season, and the race for 30th as tight as ever, the Buffalo Sabres seemed like they might disappoint their pro-tanking crowd last night when they came out to a 2-0 lead against the Florida Panthers.
For those on board with 30th place, it hurt even more that the goals came from Cody Hodgson and Andrej Meszaros, two of the head tank drivers this season. The Sabres finished the first period with a 2-0 lead, and with Michal Neuvirth once again looking good in net, many fans were left thinking "here we go again".
However, things would turn out differently last night. The Panthers absolutely dominated the final two periods, scoring five of the final six goals in the game to to on to win 5-3. Just look at how the shot attempt chart looks after the Sabres second goal at the eight minute mark:
The Panthers took control of the game thanks to Brandon Pirri's back-to-back power play goals that tied the game, and took a lead they would not relinquish on Nick Bjugstad's goal to end the second period. Pirri and Bjugstad combined for 16 total shots, contributing to Florida's dominating 47-14 shot total.
The Sabres would get another goal from Torrey Mitchell, but two more Panthers goals would be too much to overcome, and at the end of the night, the tankers would be happy once again.